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The Delhi High Court has rejected a request to restrict blocking orders to individual URLs, ruling that it would be “cumbersome” and “time-consuming”.
Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and A.K. Pathak passed the ruling, which drew a distinction between blocking individual URL links and entire domain names.
The judges said simply blocking URLs that fall under individual websites, and which were thought to be displaying infringing content, is not a sufficient solution and can be too easily circumvented.
The order comes after India’s Department of Electronics and Information Technology filed for an order at the court.
The department called for an ruling that blocking orders handed to internet service providers are restricted to the individual URLs where the infringing content was available and not the domain as a whole.
But the court rejected the request.
“Most of them [pirate websites] hide behind domain privacy services, making it extremely difficult, and almost impossible to locate the owners of these websites,” the judgment said.
The judgment added that by simply blocking a URL an infringer can start operating on another, slightly different, URL “within seconds”.
For example, the court said the website www.abc.com could contain the URL www.abc.com/india-v-pakistan.
Even if that URL is blocked the website owner “can simply log into the website source code and insert the letter ‘s’ after the letter ‘v’ and change the URL to www.abc.com/india-vs-pakistan and start operating again.
But, said the court, if a domain name is blocked, then continuing with the infringing activity becomes “cumbersome”, “time consuming” and a “money spending exercise”.
Delhi High Court, piracy, copyright, copyright infringement